Manchester’s musical heritage and whopping student population keep things lively and interesting. Clubs change styles depending on the night of the week, and frequently change names; in addition, many of the city’s hip café-bars host regular club nights. There is also an excellent live music scene, of course, with tickets for local bands usually under £5, perhaps £10–15 for bigger names. Check ubiquitous fly-posters, and the websites listed here, to see what’s on. The bi-annual artist-led Manchester International Festival has included upwards of twenty world premiers of shows by names such as Damon Albarn and Björk.

As for classical music, the city is blessed with the North’s most highly prized orchestra, the Hallé, which is resident at Bridgewater Hall. Other acclaimed names include the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata chamber orchestra, who perform at a variety of venues. The Cornerhouse is the local alternative arts mainstay, while a range of mainstream and fringe theatres produce a lively, year-round programme.

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